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New Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old Single Malt Celebrates A Special Tenure

Family-owned distillery Glenfarclas recently released a limited-edition, 50-year-old Highland single malt Scotch whisky.

A statement from the family notes that this special edition is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of family member and chairman John Grant first starting in the industry.

The news of the launch follows on the heels of Glenfarclas winning “Distiller of the Year” at the 2022 Icons Dinner.

Glenfarclas 50 Year Old
Family-owned distillery Glenfarclas recently released a limited-edition, 50-year-old Highland single malt Scotch whisky. (image via Glenfarclas)

The oldest family-owned distillery in Speyside, John is the fifth generation of the Grant family to take the helm at Glenfarclas, one of Speyside’s oldest family-owned distilleries.

John Grant praised the foresight of his ancestors, which allowed the distillery under his  guidance, to produce and bottle a number of rare single malts spanning seven decades, including this latest release.

The distiller’s notes show the Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old is copper in color, reminiscent of the stills at the distillery. The whisky clocks in at 50% ABV.

The liquid was selected for bottling by Distillery Manager Callum Fraser and Managing Director Douglas Belford, and the duo said this whisky demonstrates the skill of the distillery team 50 years ago, lead at the time by then Distillery Manager Douglas MacDonald.

This Glenfarclas whisky was laid down during the tenure of John’s father, George Grant, and the distiller’s notes show the malt offers marzipan, almond and cedar wood on the nose, with a sweet and smoky hint giving way to stewed apples and dark chocolate.

On the palate, the notes explain, the velvety dark chocolate tastes lead to flavors of treacle toffee, mixed peel and a slightly smoky, sweet flavor. It has a lingering finish.

“Creating products like Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old is the reason I come to work. Producing something so special, which has such an incredible story behind it, is tribute to the passion that runs through everything we do at Glenfarclas,” said Distillery Manager Fraser.

He called this dram exquisite. “It has an incredible depth of character and showcases every element of the whisky making process – from the earthy smell of the dunnage warehouse through to the light, natural smokiness of the Speyside peat that was used back then and the unique taste of the water we use in our production process. A whisky that evolves over time, both on the nose and on the palate, is truly exciting as it’s ever changing and developing. I hope the distillery manager in 50 years time is as impressed as I am by the quality of the spirit we are laying down for the future, today.”

After joining the industry in 1972, John Grant took a post at Glenfarclas in 1974 where he spent time learning various areas of the business then developing the international sales markets. He then became managing director in 1979 and chairman in 2002.

Over the past 50 years, he’s played an important role in the wider whisky industry, which he was recognized for in 1997 when he became a Keeper of the Quaich, then inducted into Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2021.

“This release is particularly special, as it commemorates the 50 years I have worked in the industry, with the liquid in the cask evolving along with the industry during that time,” John Grant said. “I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved together as a distillery team over the last 50 years and look forward to releasing even more exquisite drams together in the future as Glenfarclas continues to evolve.”

The Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old has a price tag of £9,000. In all, 836 bottles of this Glenfarclas 50-Year-Old exist, encased in an engraved Glencairn bottle and nestled inside a presentation box.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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